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Facing the planet’s sixth mass extinction

Extinction of bees
“Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons”

Mass extinction has become a growing topic of conversation amongst politicians and in households after the release of “Vanishing,” a CNN series that sheds some much-needed light on the subject.

According to the Center of Biological Diversity, Earth is currently experiencing the worst case of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

The agency also reports that dozens of species are going extinct every day, with as many as 200 species going extinct every year.

Ninety-nine percent of species that are currently endangered are on that list specifically because of humans.

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The human factors that are causing this mass extinction are issues like global warming, habitat destruction and the introduction of nonnative species into new environments.

The issue is gaining even more traction as president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration nears.

In an interview with Fox News in October of 2016, he stated that he plans on cutting the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency, and when asked who was going to protect the environment, he answered, “We’ll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy business.”

Another controversy surrounding the Trump presidency has been who he appointed for the head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt.

Some of the questionable statements that he has made include implying that there is no link between fracking and water contamination, claiming that climate “alarmists” can be charged with fraud and defending some of the biggest polluters in the country.

Protecting our environment should be one of our country’s number one priorities, but unfortunately with the now Republican-controlled Senate and the inauguration of someone who does not believe in climate change, the subject of our environment is becoming less and less of a priority.

Climate change is one of the biggest threats to humanity today, as it has the potential to completely wipe out our population over the course of the next several hundred years.

Scientists agree that combatting climate change is a necessity to ensure that future generations have a safe, clean planet on which to live.

One of FGCU’s missions is to promote and practice environmental sustainability, and the university accomplishes this in part through their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certified buildings. This means that the buildings are resource efficient by using less water and energy and emitting less greenhouse gases.

If this is something that you feel passionate about, I encourage you to become more environmentally sustainable by recycling, buying environmentally-friendly food and other products and reducing your usage of fossil fuels.

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